Tonight’s Concert Picks: Bombadil at Johnny Brenda’s, Glen Phillips at World Cafe Live

Bombadil | photo via artist’s website

Durham, NC trio Bombadil bring their new Fences LP to Johnny Brenda’s tonight. The record comes after an intense time of change and regrowth for the folky pop outfit and is the first of their efforts not self-produced; instead, they welcomed veteran singer/songwriter and engineer John Vanderslice into the fold. Listen to “I Could Make You So Happy” below and pick up tickets for the 21+ show here.

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3rd Planet Festival: Remembering Emily Selke

Emily Selke visiting Barcelona | photo courtesy of 3rd Planet Festival
Emily Selke flashes a smile at Park Güell in Barcelona | photo courtesy of 3rd Planet Festival

*Author’s disclaimer: The writer of this article is close friends with one of 3rd Planet Festival’s organizers, but reporting from The Key remains objective, as always.

On the heels of the one year anniversary of 22-year-old Emily Selke’s death, her loved ones are celebrating her joy in a way Emily would have seen fit: through music – a whole day of it. This month’s 3rd Planet Festival at World Cafe Live brings to life the passion Emily so embodied and shared with everyone she met.

The Drexel Music Industry Program grad, whose focus was on festival curation, was aboard Germanwings Flight 9525 with her mother Yvonne Selke and 142 other passengers last March when the aircraft crashed in the French Alps.

“When they had her memorial service finally, it was religious oriented and the minister was saying a whole lot about Yvonne and how she attended church all the time, and was very active in it, but he didn’t mention Emily much at all,” said Ashley Kuhn, a close friend of Emily’s who’s been spearheading efforts for 3rd Planet. “It was healing for people who knew Yvonne, but it didn’t feel fitting for her [Emily’s] life.” Continue reading →


Samantha Crain brings depth and soul to The Fire (photos, review)

Samantha Crain | Photo by Chris Sikich |
Samantha Crain | Photo by Chris Sikich |

All photos by Chris Sikich |

Rumbling through songs of identity and place mostly from her brilliant 2013 record Kid Face, Samantha Crain had no trouble fitting in at The Fire on Friday night. Brandishing a brand-new guitar after her previous one was stolen two nights before (marking the second time in less than a year guitars have been stolen from her) and her uniquely rich, textured vocals, Crain took the audience’s minds off of the heat with her master class in folk rock. Adding further depth and soul to the proceedings were Kyle Reid’s memorable hand made cigar box guitars and the keys and string work of multifaceted John Calvin. Crain assuredly sang during one of the night’s highlights, the title track to Kid Face, “I found, I found the way.” And with the praise heaped on by the likes of Rolling Stone this year and the rapturous applause heaped on by Philadelphia’s crowd, she has and hopefully even larger venues and grander futures are in store for her. See pictures of Crain and openers Bombadil and Kevin Killen in the gallery below.